ST. LOUIS -- A Cardinals team that exploded to life with 28 hits and 15 runs in the first two games of the series struggled on Saturday against left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, who threw 6 2/3 innings and lifted the free-swinging Rockies to a 6-2 victory in front of 45,216 at Busch Stadium at Saturday night.
"We always feel good handing Jorge the ball, especially after a tough loss or when the bullpen is taxed," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who had to exhaust his bullpen when Kyle Kendrick suffered right shoulder inflammation and left after one inning of Friday night's 7-0 loss. "He almost always rises to the occasion."
Charlie Blackmon led off the game with a triple off the top of the wall and scored on a Carlos Gonzalez sacrifice fly and the Rockies maintained the lead for the rest of the game with the help of fourth and sixth inning home runs against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn, who picked up just his second loss in his last 11 outings.
"I think I have it until I'm done, but tonight just wasn't my night," Lynn said. "I had some chances to not have the night I did, to right the ship. Usually I do, and tonight I didn't, so I'm not happy about it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Big Ben: With the Rockies holding a two-run lead -- partly because of Nolan Arenado's slump-breaking homer (.230, one HR from June 29 to Friday) in the sixth, Ben Paulsen offered breathing room. He homered off Lynn to open the sixth, and doubled in two runs off Seth Maness in the seventh. Paulsen, a callup from Albuquerque earlier this season, is hitting .290 with eight homers and 30 RBIs. More >
Lynn fizzles: The Cardinals allowed Lynn to bat with two runners on and one out in the fifth, even though he had already thrown 95 pitches. The move backfired as Lynn could not get a bunt down, leaving runners at first and second for Matt Carpenter, who flew out to end the inning. Lynn allowed a leadoff home run in the sixth to Paulsen, and did not record an out in the frame before he was pulled.
"It looked like [Lynn] might have turned the page, Matheny said. "We had him try to get a bunt down and get Matt Carpenter to the plate to maybe tie the game. In hindsight we have an opportunity to maybe put somebody up there, hit a home run and put us in the lead." More >
Welcome back: From his two-homer game on June 27 through Friday night, Arenado hit .230 with one home run. But his two-run shot in the third gave the Rockies a 3-1 lead.
Randal's redemption: Cardinals' center fielder Randal Grichuk robbed a would-be two-run home run off the bat off Michael McKenry in the seventh inning. The fielding gem came on the heels of Wednesday night's 1-0 loss to the Reds in which Grichuk narrowly missed robbing a Jay Bruce homer that proved to be the difference in the game.
"I know that bothered him, especially when it was the decider," Matheny said, recalling Bruce's home run. "Those guys dream about those particular plays and we're constantly working on them in BP, more so because it's fun than anything else ... It was a good play." More >
NIGHT OF FIRSTS
Cardinals reliever Jonathan Broxton made his first appearance for the team after he was acquired from the Brewers on Friday. Broxton pitched a scoreless eighth inning, retiring the bottom of the Rockies' lineup in order.
Brandon Moss, acquired by the Cardinals from the Indians on Thursday, picked up his first hit with the team on a flare to left field in the fifth inning.
Umpires called for a crew-chief review of Blackmon's triple to lead off the game. The ball did not clear the fence for a home run.
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Lefty Yohan Flande (1-1, 3.68 ERA), who earned his first Major League win in his last outing, will start the series finale against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. MT (Root Sports Rocky Mountain/850 KOA).
Cardinals:Jaime Garcia makes his second start since returning from the disabled list on Sunday when the Cardinals and Rockies wrap up their four-game series with a 1:15 p.m. CT game at Busch Stadium.